Golf Advisor Podcast Episode 12: Nawal El Moutawakel talks Olympic gold, women's sports and a little golf with Matt Ginella

The pioneering hurdler has had a fascinating life in the 35 years since breaking down barriers.
Matt Ginella and Nawal El Moutawakel walk and talk.

Nawal El Moutawakel is far from a household name. But she's a significant figure in sports history.

In 1984, El Moutawakel, a native of Morocco, became both the first person to win the women's 400-meter hurdles in the Olympic Games and the first woman from a Muslim-majority country to bring home the gold in any event. The only woman among the Moroccan Olympic delegation at the time El Moutawakel brought a level of visibility and possibility to women's athletics unheard of in the Muslim world.

She has spent the last 35 years promoting sport as a component of a fulfilling life for young women worldwide, but especially in her home country. And since 1998, she's been a member of the International Olympic Committee.

She's not much of a golfer, but in her conversation with Golf Advisor Editor-at-Large that comprises Episode 12 of the Golf Advisor Podcast, you'll learn that her unique story translates to all sports, and that she's even inspired golfers.

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Some topics from the conversation:

- El Moutawakel recounts the “beautiful memories” of her pioneering Gold Medal run in the first-ever Women’s 400-meter Hurdles. She was the only woman in the Moroccan delegation that year, and her gold medal was the first for a woman from a majority-Muslim country.

- She expands on her family background, including the ways in which her mother inspired her journey in sports.

- El Moutawakel comments on the rise in participation by women in Olympic sports in Morocco, including Maha Haddioui, a golfer who competed in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

- Why El Moutawakel retired from competition at the age of just 24, and what she is most proud of in her eventful life since her Olympics triumph.

- What potential visitors (including golfers) need to know about Morocco, and why they should visit.

Nawal El Moutawakel celebrates after winning the Women's 400 meter hurdles during the 1984 Summer Olympics at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 8, 1984 in Los Angeles, California.

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Golf Advisor Podcast Episode 12: Nawal El Moutawakel talks Olympic gold, women's sports and a little golf with Matt Ginella